Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh



Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh works across the city with families who are experiencing difficulties with substance use.  Working in individuals’ own homes or in community settings, Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh helps and supports parents to make positive changes in their lives. This positive influence will improve family living and make it safer and healthier for them and their children.

Who we work with

Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh works with:

• parents who are experiencing difficulties as a result of their substance use and who have children,
• pregnant women and women with young babies,
• lone fathers with care of their children who have parenting and substance use issues.

Funding and partnership

Partners that provide continued support include Children and Families Social Work, Sure Start, Craigmillar Community Partnership, Leith Community Partnership, YWCA, the Cordis Trust and R S MacDonald Charitable Trust.

Volunteer Mentoring Programme

Aberlour Family Outreach – Edinburgh has a Volunteer Mentoring Programme that works with families with children under the age of five who are affected by substance use. Each family is allocated a volunteer mentor who works with the family for a minimum of six months and two hours per week. The volunteer assists the family to maintain positive behaviours and routines, and focus on creating sustainable behavioural change and preventing dependency on the volunteer. The service is person centred and thus led by the family’s own needs. It is an early intervention project aimed at assisting families to maintain and establish positive routines and preventing crises. Volunteers aim to increase nursery or primary school retention, and to improve the family’s support network by encouraging community engagement. They can also assist with creating secure attachment and positive parenting routines within families.

Who we work with (clients and partners)

We work with any family throughout Edinburgh that has at least one child under the age of five and is affected by substance use. We work with mothers, fathers, grandparents and primary carers. Families can refer themselves or be referred by any professional working with the family. Volunteers can work in conjunction with other services and may work in addition to any other professional(s). The service is aimed at families who are fairly stable with their substance use, but could do with a helping hand or a little extra support. 

What we do                                                                           

Volunteers work with families for a minimum of six months for two hours a week. This can involve work at evenings and weekends, and can be flexible depending on the needs of the family. The service aims to create sustainable behavioural change in families affected by substance use. Volunteers can work with families on a range of interventions:

  • Improve local networks of support within their community
  • Increase the number of vulnerable children supported to remain in school, nursery or early years centres
  • Help children to access clubs, groups and play schemes
  • Assist with parenting skills
  • Assist with establishing routines
  • Provide emotional support and extra listening time to spend with families
  • Any other needs that help sustain positive changes and routines within families

Blue Quality award logo


In July 2015, this service achieved the Scottish Mentoring Network Project Quality Award.

Services & Outcomes

Service aim and what we offer

Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh aims to encourage better parenting and enhance childhood experiences by providing a variety of services to meet the needs of children and families in Edinburgh.

This aim is achieved through a variety of methods including:

• comprehensive family assessment,
• individualised care plans and support packages,
• parenting work,
• a focused approach on the safety and wellbeing of children,
• an opportunity for parents experiencing drug and/or alcohol issues to consider, explore and choose positive lifestyle options,
• encouraging parents to take responsibility,
• individual support for children to increase their resilience.

General service information

• Core service hours are 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday dependent on the needs of the family.
• Referrals can be taken over the phone and can come from any professional involved with the family. We also accept self-referrals.
• Aberlour Family Outreach - Edinburgh works with families whose children are 16 years old or younger.


This service contributes to the following Scottish Government’s National Outcomes.

• Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective communicators and responsible citizens.
• Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed.
• Our children live longer, healthier lives.
• The life chances for children young people and families at risk have improved.
• Our children live safe from crime, disorder and danger.


Contact details

Westerhailes Healthy Living Centre
30 Harvesters Way
EH14 3JF
0131 453 9110